- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 17 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 17 Jan. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00B28MH78
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Rook Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the most enjoyable, most riveting supernatural thriller I've read this side of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, and it has similar elements: a likable, vulnerable hero/heroine, up against immense threats, triumphing through guile and determination; a realistic backdrop that contrasts wonderfully with the fantastical events; and throughout a touch of ironic and occasionally macabre humour.
Mr O'Malley populates his world with people who I found myself invested in, both the sympathetic, who I so desperately wanted to survive and triumph, and the villainous, whose defeats were so satisfying. He manages to make the reader care about what happens even to minor characters.
I gather the author is working on a sequel and I, for one, look forward to re-immersing myself in his troubling but compelling world, and re-acquainting myself with those who survived; and perhaps those that didn't...
While I didn't find the infrequent Americanisms as jarring as other reviewers, the book does demand comparison with Ben Aaronovich's Rivers of London series, both of which feature secret paranormal agencies based in London/UK. Aaronovich clearly has a much better grasp of the London setting, which O'Malley could do well to try and emulate. However Rook possibly just has the edge in terms of humo(u)r and plotting
There were some credulity-stretching moments in the plot - the ease and speed with which the (new) heroine managed to settle into a C-level role in an international secret service with almost nobody noticing, and the apparent lack of competence from some of the leaders of said service. However a really strong debut, with plenty of scope and interesting secondary characters to develop for future novels
So the author called his protagonist Myfanwy. I initially really liked that, it's not a name you see used often. But then the author opens by having the character explain that she pronounces it like Tiffany but with an M at the start. WHY?! You take this this beautiful, traditional Welsh name and just throw it away? I think most Brits could pronounce it close to correctly if not completely correctly and as you already went to the effort of telling the reader how to pronounce it, why didn't you tell them to pronounce it the traditional way? There was absolutely no reason for the alternative pronunciation throughout the rest of the book and so I stubbornly pronounced it traditionally in my head from start to finish.
Oh, and it was even more annoying when the author illustrated another character "wrongly" using the traditional pronunciation at one point in the story. ARGH, make it stop!
Related to the character naming issue, was her surname and the use of it throughout the story. Obviously with an amnesia plot like this, the current timeline version of Myfanwy needs a way to refer to past Myfanwy without the reader getting confused. The way the author achieved this was by having current-M refer to past-M by her surname. My first problem with this approach is that in my experience, women don't usually refer to closed personal friends/acquaintances by their surnames. That's pretty much reserved for referring to public schoolboys.
It was further problematic because Myfanwy's surname is Thomas, so current-M kept referring to her past self as "Thomas" which is quite clearly a male name and was horrible jarring.Read more ›
Myfanwy isn't Myfanwy any more. She's woken up in a field surrounded by bodies, with two black eyes, a potential new name and a letter in her pocket explaining that she's in big trouble. Lucky for us. The first part of the book suffers a little from info dump - there are loads of letters from M1 explaining how her life worked before it fell apart - but please don't let that put you off. Once the action kicks in there's no let up.
Given the glut of supernatural books over the past few years, it says a lot for the author's skill that the world created feels fresh and is engrossing. There's a version of how one type of predator (it's so hard to talk about this without giving the character away) is created that I can't recall having read before.
Myfanwy is a great invention. She proves the old adage that it's always the quiet ones you have to watch. M1 is dismissed by her colleagues as a mousy administrator, so I loved seeing M2 roar into life and shake them up. O'Malley didn't leave M1 as a single note character either. She had a depth and strength that led her on adventures her detractors would never have thought her capable of. M1's stoicism in the face of her own impending destruction was heartbreaking, and her determination to exercise a measure of control over the aftermath was inspiring. The other characters are wonderful (even when they're horrible). My heart was in my mouth over the fate of a few of my favourites near the end.
The thing I liked best of all was the way humour and action were combined so that each enhanced rather than detracted from the other. I couldn't bear to put the book down until it was finished, and now it's over I wish I'd made it last longer. I really hope there's a sequel in the pipeline, and that Daniel O'Malley is a fast writer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I came across this book in Waterstones recently, and thought the premise looked interesting, but not enough to tempt me to buy it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by The Crusader
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The central mystery is revealed in stages and the use of epistolary chapters to unveil aspects of the world is well-done. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Claire Fraser
I enjoyed the ideas behind The Rook, and the story does draw you in. I do have a problem with it though... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nicholas Ellis
Great characters, well written with nice line of dark humour throughout. Think Sanctuary (TV) meets the Laundry (Stross). Looking forward to the next one.Published 3 months ago by reluctantswitcher
A really enjoyable read, original story, great characters, full of humour and unexpected twists. Looking forward to reading the sequel.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you're reading this then you've already read the book blurb and are intrigued enough to check out the reviews, so I'm not going to go into the plot or provide spoilers. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kass VS
The most remarkable thing about 'The Rook', is how the author has taken such a promising story and concepts and managed to write such an utterly terrible book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr. M. V. Norwood